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Sarah Thompson

So, as Autumn hits we now face another spike in a virus that has been our enemy for most of this year.


A typically British summer, patchy, has delivered economic data never seen before and the threat of further lockdowns and restrictions announced in towns and cities across the country has led to more uncertainty and fear amongst people, places and business leaders.

It felt that the UK took a ‘mini-break’ over the summer and now, as the leaves start to change colour, we will likely experience the next difficult phase of the pandemic.

With coronavirus cases on the rise and more social distancing restrictions looming, Chancellor Rishi Sunak last week unveiled a fresh support package to see the UK economy through the winter months.


Resisting calls to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the Chancellor introduced the Jobs Support Scheme under which the UK Government will cover 22 per cent of pay for six months, something that business support organisations, including the British Chambers of Commerce, have been lobbying hard for.


The Winter Economy Plan has been largely welcomed by the business community, but some fear that it will not go far enough to prevent mass redundancies when the CJRS ends on October 31st.


The cost of furlough is extraordinary, yet the human cost of double-digit unemployment and families struggling to survive the winter months would be extraordinarily high too.

In this month’s edition of Prosper, we ask what does the future hold for the region’s economy and are SMEs optimistic for the future? 


We discuss the challenges that lie ahead, meet the region’s ‘finance finder’s - the experts helping businesses to source funding to survive and rebuild and we look at what businesses need to consider as they look towards a new economic world.


We ask how UK firms are facing up to the threat of domestic abuse as more staff work from home, address the legal issues faced by companies when employees use social media channels and look at how one local theatre is battling to raise the curtain again.


There’s an update on the Black Country Business Festival, which kicks off next week, further Brexit support for firms across the region, details on a Chamber collaboration with the launch of the Kickstart initiative and we meet the new members of the Black Country Chamber team, including a well-known West Midlands, face who joins the leadership team.



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Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson

PR & Communications Officer

Black Country Chamber of Commerce




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